Ladies (and gentlemen, if you’re interested!), what could be better than combining sweet treats with chic style? I love the excitement and indulgence of both, which is why I was thrilled when I recently received a copy of Rachel Shifter Thebault’s Sweet Chic to review.
The idea behind this book is charming; Rachel compares her baking philosophy to the advice given by many fashion experts: start with a few wardrobe staples (think little black dress, that perfect pair of jeans, or your favorite oversize handbag), and then accessorize your little heart out to dress it up or down and completely alter the look. This strategy is applied to the recipes in this book; by starting out with a basic recipe or technique and applying a few alterations you can have virtually endless results.
Vanilla cookies are compared to the crisp oxford shirt, chocolate cake is compared to the little black dress, and caramel is compared to the “it” bag. Brilliant and so adorable.
One of these fudgy brownies and a tall glass of milk are a match made in heaven.
Thumbing through the book (which by the way, has many pictures of these oh-so-tempting sweet treats), I saw several recipes I wanted to make. Peanut butter and chocolate thumbprints, ice cream sandwiches, and salt and pepper chocolate are a few of the many things that called to me. In the end I decided on fudgy brownies because really, it doesn’t get much better than a good brownie.
I had some fresh red raspberries that I wanted to incorporate into the dish and I thought a raspberry fool would be a nice way to do it. A fruit fool is a traditional English dessert of pureed fruit folded into sweetened whipped cream. For my recipe, I crumbled these lovely fudgy brownies and used them as my base.
There aren’t many things that can’t be improved with chocolate…but a plain old berry fool is still pretty tasty even on its own.
I did make a few changes to the original brownie recipe in the book…the biggest alterations I made were to scale back the recipe a bit, use all brown sugar (for a truly sublime fudgy texture), and add of a bit of cocoa powder (because I love the deep chocolate flavor it gives to brownies). Oh, and I added literally just a pinch of espresso powder, a trick I learned from Ina Garten a while ago; it’s completely optional, and you won’t be able to taste the coffee – it just helps accentuate the flavor of the chocolate.
And no worries if you don’t want to crumble these brownies to use as the base for fool; make them any time you want a small batch of brownies!
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Sweet Chic (Ballantine Books; October 2010); as always, opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items, which helps me keep this site alive – thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!